Author Topic: Native OS/X version plans  (Read 7556 times)

dmh

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Native OS/X version plans
« on: May 07, 2008, 11:16:34 pm »
I'm not sure if the quote below still represents your current intent, but I very much hope not.  While an X11 version is better than nothing on the Mac, it just isn't even close to a "real" Mac app.  Since so many have already pointed out the short-comings (e.g. no drag-n-drop support, focus problems, no "doc" icon, no eclipse plug-in, etc., etc.), I won't go on-and-on about them here.

Like most of your users, I'm a developer; so, I don't understand the "full rewrite" comment from the quote below.  I would expect, since there are already two different versions available (Windoze and X11), that much of SlickEdit's code must already be (or should be) independent of the UI; so, it really should not be a full rewrite to get it ported to yet another UI.  On the other hand, it would of course be a significant amount of work regardless; and, I can understand waiting until there appears to be sufficient market support to justify the investment of time and money.  Given the current fast increasing popularity of the Mac and OS/X platform, I would very surprised if such an investment did not ultimately payoff.  There must be some path by which you could get this done???  I'll be happy to help -- I'm currently between contracts:).

I didn't actually notice that SlickEdit on the Mac was an X11 app; nor just how "bad" X11 apps are on the Mac.  I may not have bought it if I had -- I feel a bit like I bought the proverbial "pig in a poke":(.  I get almost no use out of the Windoze version these days....

Currently, we have no plan for a native Mac OS X version of SlickEdit. While we would like to offer this we haven't found a way to do so short of a full rewrite of SlickEdit for this platform. So we continue to offer the X Windows version the same as we do for our Linux and UNIX platforms. We recognize that this does not meet some users' needs, but it offers the most powerful editing capabilities on the Mac for many of the supported languages.
--Scott

Ian Ameline

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2008, 12:33:53 am »
I think they should rewrite the UI portion of slickedit using Qt. Then it would be platform independent, with native look, feel, and performance. Qt rocks.

Ding Zhaojie

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2008, 10:39:29 am »
I prefer wxWidgets to Qt.

Ian Ameline

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2008, 04:07:19 pm »
I'm not that knowledgeable on wxWidgets, but Qt (at least for us) has demonstrated that it works well on Windows, mac and linux, giving a nice native look and feel for each -- provides easily skinable UIs, and scales up to truly massive sized projects (tens of millions of lines of code). it's also very easy to learn, and has very good documentation.

Probably the most visible example of a cross platform app using Qt is google earth.



PepeChulin

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 04:29:58 pm »
SlickEdit for the Mac is just barely acceptable. I don't agree that a barely acceptable editor offers "the most powerful editing capabilities". Here's yet another example of an amazingly annoying problem that SlickEdit QA missed or marketing decided wasn't important.

When you're editing over NFS you, for whatever reason, lose the network connection to the file server. In SlickEdit you get a dialog box telling you that someone deleted the file and asks you what to do. However, that dialog box only stays on the screen for about 1 second, since the minute you move the mouse to answer the question, the box goes behind the main window in the Z order. But the main window still has a modal dialog up, so you can't do anything inside it until you click something in the modal dialog that you now can't see. So, you minimize the main window and answer the question in the modal dialog. The moment that you restore the main window, you get a modal dialog box telling you that someone has deleted the file and asks you what to do. However, that dialog box only stays on the screen for about 1 second, since...

The foregoing will occur until you get bored, which in my experience happens very quickly. The only solution is to kill the X server.

So, providing a feature where the only solution is to kill the X server and start over is one of "the most powerful editing capabilities"?

And, I agree with the poster that pointed out that a native Mac version couldn't possibly lead to a "full rewrite", as was claimed. We're all programmers. That kind of hyperbole won't work with us.

Anyway, I would really love to have a decent version of SlickEdit for the Mac. I would buy it, but I sure won't buy the X one again. That was a big waste of money.

Please consider making a decent version of SlickEdit for the Mac. Please.

ScottW, VP of Dev

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 07:32:21 pm »
Thanks for pointing out the Z order issue. We're looking into it.

Yes, the previous statement is still accurate relative to our plans for Mac OS X. The Mac version is functionally identical to our Linux and Unix offering. On those platforms, we do not receive the same feedback that the editor is "barely acceptable". These comments from Mac users, I believe, stem from a lack of fitting into the Mac OS X standards and approaches. While some of these issues are functional, many are cosmetic. The editing workflows offered by SlickEdit on the Mac are the same as on any other platform we support and provide the best symbol analysis, code navigation, and speed of use of any commercially available editor, particularly on the Mac...bugs in Z order notwithstanding.  :P

Please do not assume that you know more about our code than we do, or don't complain the next time your manager gives you your estimates.  ;D 

We have looked at this issue extensively with the hope of producing a native version. We even looked at QT as an option. Using QT or writing the code directly using the Mac APIs would require us to re-implement our window handling, font handling, event processing, every dialog, every menu, and every tool window. While this isn't 100% of the code, I would consider this to be a "full rewrite" due to the magnitude of the change. Also, unless we selected the QT route, it would leave us with a version that is so different from the other platforms that many features and defects would have to be implemented twice.

Suffice it to say, the effort required is more than we are willing to invest. Hopefully, that is a statement we can all agree to and is fully lacking in "hyperbole".   ;)   If it was as easy as many have suggested, we would have done it already. If it was as easy as some have suggested, I could have done it in the time it took me to answer the posts about when we are going to have a native Mac version. <Falls to floor frothing and pulling out hair> ;D

We recognize that the Mac version will not satisfy all users, particularly those whose primary background is on a Mac. We have had a great deal of praise from users who work on multiple platforms because the Mac version is so similar to our other versions. We provide a free trial so people can try it out and reach their own conclusions whether this product will make them more productive.

I've peppered this post with smileys in an attempt to make sure you read this with a light-hearted tone. I think you are right to ask for a native version, and I've done my best to relate SlickEdit's position on this. We plan to keep supporting the Mac in the manner we do currently. We are interested in any suggestions on how it can be made more functional in the Mac environment.

Thanks!

Nathan

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 07:35:26 pm »
Hey Pepe,

Which version of X11 do you have? There have been updates made to the server to address (among other things) dialog window focus and placement issues under Spaces. It may be that, or a related problem.

If you haven't gone to http://xquartz.macosforge.org/trac/ to pick up X11 v2.2.1, give that a shot. It may have been included in today's OS X 10.5.3 update, but I doubt it -- I've made a habit to just go the XQuartz project regularly, they update much more often than Apple does.

Are you using Spaces? (Even if 'no', it's always good to update X11 anyway). What are your X11 > Preferences ... > Windows settings?

PepeChulin

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 08:58:26 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback, and thanks for looking at the modal dialog problem. Just to let you know, I use Mac as a desktop, but I most commonly use vi on remote Unix machines for my work. So, the lack of usability that I perceive has nothing to do with needing the product to look like aqua. I decided to buy SlickEdit because of the pretty good vi key bindings that it didn't have last time I looked at it.

Just for the record, my primary complaint is that SlickEdit is extremely confused by my Latin American keyboard. So, confused, in fact that I can't write C++ destructors or perfrom logical XOR, both of which require key recognition that SlickEdit lacks. As you can see, my web browser has no problems understanding what I'm trying to do when I type ~ and ^. SlickEdit, however, is incapable of rendering either of those characters unless I copy and paste them from somewhere else. Other X11 applications on the Mac that I use do not suffer this limitation. If this behavior is functionally equivalent to what you offer on Linux and Unix, then I'll be sure to avoid those, too.  :)

Please do not assume that you know what is said between me and my manager.  ;D

That's fine if you guys don't think you want to spend the time making a native Mac version. But you could make one that at least acts like other X11 applications on the Mac, and is capable of accepting typed input that most programmers probably use and doesn't put me in an endless loop trying to get rid of modal dialogs.

I could really go for OS/400 Control Language syntax highlighting, too, but I won't hold me breath. I'd rather just be able to type ~.  :)

ScottW, VP of Dev

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008, 09:17:59 pm »
Problem with Latin American keyboard support? Why didn't you say so in the first place?!? ::) That's a bug and we'll happily look into it. I don't know if that is Mac specific or not, so we'll have to get a little more info to track this down.

Can you tell us more about the keyboard you are using so we can attempt to fix this. Is this a Mac keyboard or third-party keyboard?

Also, a list of the characters that don't work and what you get instead would be really helpful:
   When I type ~ it inserts a <whatever>. 

It might be helpful to turn on View > Special Chars in case the characters inserted are non-printing. I'll forward this to the dev team to see what we can do. 


PepeChulin

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2008, 09:55:26 pm »
Thanks a lot for the quick reply. I'm really not trying to be annoying.

About the keyboard problem, I dealt with tech support about it when I first bought SlickEdit and still had installation support coverage. He said that they were trying to get money to buy a Latin American keyboard so that they could try it out, and I emailed him screenshots of the Mac keyboard viewer so that he could see what keys were in what locations in all the various shift states.

This is a Mac keyboard that shipped with my MacBook Pro, and turning on Special Chars in SlickEdit has no effect.

Just in case that file got lost somehow, here's the real problem. It appears that any key that performs the function of providing a combining mark is broken. So, ~`^´ all don't work. I typed those by typing the combining mark key followed by space. But normally you would follow the combining mark with a letter, like á ([´]+[a]). Unfortunately, ~ and ^ fall into that category, since only a programmer would want one of those over a space. Interestingly, the key that provides just ñ all by itself gives me an ñ in SlickEdit, too. However, when I use that key in its combining mark capacity, it fails. The failure of all the aforementioned keys is that the combining mark is treated in SlickEdit as if nothing ever happened, so whatever you type after it is what you see in SlickEdit. So, when I want to type "^", all I see is " ", since the keystrokes are [^]+[space].

Thanks for looking into this. And, as I pointed out to your tech support personnel when I first became aware of this problem, a noteworthy application that does not exhibit this behavior is OpenOffice. And I'm not talking about NeoOffice, the non-X11 version of OpenOffice; I'm talking about the actual X11 version of OpenOffice for Mac.

Thanks very much.

Clark

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008, 02:40:33 pm »
I've never hit a case, where it was necessary to buy a keyboard to test a keyboard problem.  All you need is the OS keyboard configuration.  What you are seeing is a dead key problem.  Supporting dead keys requires an input method be running to perform the translation.  Think of it as a keyboard plugin for X windows that comes with the OS.  On the application side of things, there is some extra work that needs to be done in order to support this plugin.

SlickEdit has some input method support but we've been unable to get it to work reliably with SCIM (the standard input method for Linux).  For this reason, it is turned off by default since it can make your problems worse.

To turn it on, you must have the following environment variable setup:

XMODIFIERS=@im=SCIM
VSLICK_XIM=SCIM

You can replace SCIM above with any other input method provider.  I don't know what the standard input method is on MAC.  The XMODIFIERS environment variable is already set for you on Linux (don't know about Mac though).

Hope this helps

PepeChulin

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2008, 03:07:10 pm »
Thanks very much for the advice. However, setting the environment variables you suggest has no effect. The keys that produce `´^ and ~ are still ignored.

Believe me, it wasn't my idea that someone should buy a keyboard to fix this problem. That was what your tech support person said that the engineering department was doing, so apparently some signal got crossed somewhere.

In any event, it's starting to look like buying a US keyboard may be the only way to fix the problem on my end. Too bad they don't sell them where I live...  :(

Thanks for the help.

PepeChulin

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2008, 03:19:10 pm »
Responding to Nathan about my version of X11, I'm using X11 1.1.3 that ships with Mac OS 10.4 (currently 10.4.11), so none of the package on the web site you sent me to are usable for me, since they all require Leopard.

Thanks for the help.

Clark

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2008, 03:30:03 pm »
I'll check into this further.  Changing your keyboard and/or OS keyboard configuration will definitely fix the problem.

garion911

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Re: Native OS/X version plans
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2008, 04:53:06 pm »
Not to break away from the keyboard issue, but I believe that there is one thing that is not on par with the other versions of Slick.. There's no drag/drap capability in the project window at all. I'm pretty sure I had that in Linux on Slick9 or 10 when I was on that platform (or was that Windows the version?? Dont recall, i was using both).. Its been many years since I used a non-Mac version, but I seem to recall having drag/drop.. The OSX version doesn't have it..

(note: I don't use it much, so it hasn't affected me, but on occasion when i start re-arranging my projects, it would be since.. Or drag/drop from the OS to add a file to a project.. etc..)